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  1. #1
    Keepin it Wheel RubeRad's Avatar
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    Removing removable links?

    OK gang, my google-fu is weak today. I know I've seen more than once here at BF a link to a scan of some english (australian?) cycling journal that illustrates an easy way to undo removable links, by working one link's worth of slack up on to the large chainring so the removable link is sticking up, and then tapping -- but now I can't find it.

    Can somebody please drop me that link again?

    FWIW, I think a better method is illustrated in the latest post on Dave Moulton's blog. This guy's a friggin genius. See also his homebrew headset press.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Dfrost's Avatar
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    Park makes some pliers designed just for the purpose of removing these links. Works great!

    http://www.parktool.com/product/mast...k-pliers-mlp-1

  3. #3
    Keepin it Wheel RubeRad's Avatar
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    Yes, that's probably the right choice for a shop, which would use it 20 times a day, but Moulton's two-screwdriver and pliers method makes that specialty tool unnecessary, for a hobbyist in the garage that would probably only use it once or twice a year.

  4. #4
    back in the saddle bent-not-broken's Avatar
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    I had an old pair of pliers, to sloppy and beat up for normal use. A bench grinder turned them into a thin nose pair like the Park tool in a couple of minutes.
    Bent

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  5. #5
    Keepin it Wheel RubeRad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bent-not-broken View Post
    I had an old pair of pliers, to sloppy and beat up for normal use. A bench grinder turned them into a thin nose pair like the Park tool in a couple of minutes.
    OK, that's a good tip too. Next time I'm at the thrift store, I'll look for an old pair of needlenose and see if I can mod them up similarly.

    However, still looking for that original article...

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
    Yes, that's probably the right choice for a shop, which would use it 20 times a day, but Moulton's two-screwdriver and pliers method makes that specialty tool unnecessary, for a hobbyist in the garage that would probably only use it once or twice a year.
    Those pliers cost $14. For that price, unless I own a single tool already that does the same job I am buying and using the right tool every time even if it is only once a year (note that I use mine far more frequently than that).

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
    Yes, that's probably the right choice for a shop, which would use it 20 times a day, but Moulton's two-screwdriver and pliers method makes that specialty tool unnecessary, for a hobbyist in the garage that would probably only use it once or twice a year.
    But if you have several bikes to mantain, and remove several chains a few times a year, it pays to have the right tool.
    If you don't know the way, you shouldn't be going there.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    Cool story: I made link pliers from by grinding and shaping the jaws of an old crimping tool. It worked well, but then I splurged and treated myself to the Park item. Pricepoint sells Sette branded link pliers for a few bux less.

  9. #9
    Keepin it Wheel RubeRad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leob1 View Post
    But if you have several bikes to mantain, and remove several chains a few times a year, it pays to have the right tool.
    In fact I have 9 bikes in my garage, but only one of them gets serious mileage; CrossCheck is used for daily commuting, recreational rides, errands, light trails, etc. Couple hundred miles of rougher trails on the mtb per year, and all the rest of the bikes are wife and boys, also only ~100mi/year. Not enough to wear out chains.

    So it's a matter of opinion when "it pays to have the right tool". I'm a super cheapskate, and two screwdrivers and pliers is good enough for me, that I would never spend $14 (or $10 I've seen similar tools on eBay). I do agree, there are many situations where "the right tool" is worth the price (a quality pedal wrench would be an example for me), but we all draw the line in different places there.

  10. #10
    SE Wis dedhed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bent-not-broken View Post
    I had an old pair of pliers, to sloppy and beat up for normal use. A bench grinder turned them into a thin nose pair like the Park tool in a couple of minutes.
    I did this with a pair of road find needle nose. I also used an old brake caliper spring re-bent for a chain "third hand" tool
    '68 Raleigh Sprite, '02 Raleigh C500, '84 Raleigh Gran Prix, '91 Trek 400

  11. #11
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by dedhed View Post
    I also used an old brake caliper spring re-bent for a chain "third hand" tool
    These are easy to make from a surplus spoke or even a piece of coat hanger wire. It's a very useful "tool" to get the slack needed to remove a master link

  12. #12
    SE Wis dedhed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    These are easy to make from a surplus spoke or even a piece of coat hanger wire. It's a very useful "tool" to get the slack needed to remove a master link
    I remember one of the first times I did this, chain slipped out of my hand and a power link flew across the shop never to be found again. Made the tool soon afterward.
    '68 Raleigh Sprite, '02 Raleigh C500, '84 Raleigh Gran Prix, '91 Trek 400

  13. #13
    Andrew R Stewart Andrew R Stewart's Avatar
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    To try to answer the original question. The chain is placed on the large ring. Then on the bottom of the ring the chain is pulled off the teeth and slipped one link forward/up so that as all the remaining links are replaced onto the teeth there will be the slack link sticking up off the ring, like an "A" frame roof line. This link will be the connecting one and placed at roughly at the 3:00 position). Then you figure out which way to push/strike this sticking up link so that the connecting link sides slide just so to release. The link's being held against the ring on one end will act as an anvil. The sliding or striking (hammer tap) on the other end AND the proper side of this link is the force to collapse the pins to each other.

    A lot of words but easy to see when it's done.

  14. #14
    Keepin it Wheel RubeRad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
    ...A lot of words but easy to see when it's done.
    Yes, thanks, and even easier to see if somebody could dig up the online scan of the magazine page that had a picture! But yes, that is exactly the technique I'm looking for. It's the "figure out which way to push/strike" that put me off before, I should probably just try again and figure harder. I guess you strike one of the side plates, not the roller? (and not the other side plate?)

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  16. #16
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    The tightwads can always talk themselves out of buying something, whether it's a useful tool or not. Buy the pliers and add them to your growing tool collection. bk

  17. #17
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    Ok, maybe I'm doing something different, but I've always been able to pinch the two plates towards each other than then slide them apart by hand. But I've only used KMC version.

  18. #18
    Andrew R Stewart Andrew R Stewart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsdavis View Post
    Ok, maybe I'm doing something different, but I've always been able to pinch the two plates towards each other than then slide them apart by hand. But I've only used KMC version.
    The SRAM links have a bit more "catch" then KMC. Also the SRAM 10 speed connectors have a larger "catch" and are not ment to be reused, we've found reusing is OK (so far, 4+ years). Andy.

  19. #19
    Keepin it Wheel RubeRad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crankycrank View Post
    BINGO! That's exactly what I was looking for. Thx mucho.

  20. #20
    Keepin it Wheel RubeRad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bkaapcke View Post
    The tightwads can always talk themselves out of buying something, whether it's a useful tool or not. Buy the pliers and add them to your growing tool collection. bk
    Yup, that's me. I am a tightwad, and I am incredibly adept at not buying things, and I hope to get even better at it.

  21. #21
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsdavis View Post
    Ok, maybe I'm doing something different, but I've always been able to pinch the two plates towards each other than then slide them apart by hand. But I've only used KMC version.
    That's the way that I take the SRAM links apart when I don't have the pliers handy. I don't know how well it works with 10 speed chains since I only have one of those but the squeeze trick has worked on every link I've used up to 9 speed.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    That's the way that I take the SRAM links apart when I don't have the pliers handy. I don't know how well it works with 10 speed chains since I only have one of those but the squeeze trick has worked on every link I've used up to 9 speed.
    In my experience, 8 and 9 speed links will come apart by hand while 10 speed need the pliers. I remember thinking something was wrong when I first installed a 10 speed link because it was so tight.

    Anyway, I always pinch the links a bit whether using the pliers or not when removing the link. Seems to help them come apart a bit more smoothly.

  23. #23
    Must... ride... more... Phil_gretz's Avatar
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    I bought the Park Tool pliers about a year ago. I can't believe that I waited so long to have done so. They make master link removal so quick and repeatable. Again, they're worth the money. Every improvised method that I employed over the years now looks comical in comparison to using the right tool.

  24. #24
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
    I bought the Park Tool pliers about a year ago. I can't believe that I waited so long to have done so. They make master link removal so quick and repeatable. Again, they're worth the money. Every improvised method that I employed over the years now looks comical in comparison to using the right tool.
    Same for me.
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  25. #25
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    So, who's right? A militant tightwad, or people who like having the right tool? bk

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